Social, Cultural, and Intellectual Developments That have Occurred in Europe since 1945

The end of Second World War in 1945 marked a new chapter in history resulting in major social, cultural, and intellectual developments credited for having a profound impact on European society. Among the most significant changes occurred due to concerted calls for social development and the urgent need for unity in Europe as an antidote to war and strife. This later resulted in efforts geared towards laying the foundation for European integration, which then culminated in the formation of the European Union (EU) (Judt, 2012).

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The core objective of this new regional body was to foster social integration within Europe as the bedrock of economic, social, and political cooperation. A consequence of this new paradigm was a significant reduction in the number of active nationalist movements and the subsequent resolution of the post-war refugee crisis in Europe. Additionally, the formation of the EU also disrupted the spread and permeation of divisive ideology such as the myth of racial superiority and further influenced European culture by embracing multiculturalism. The consequence of this new development was the emergence of a multicultural society characterized by diversity and the acceptance of immigrants from non-European regions (Sarotte, 2017).

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Today, Europe is also more secular today compared to the pre-war period when national identity was closely tied to religious beliefs and national values. Evidence of the effects of this development on European culture are also apparent in a significant shift towards liberalism and more emphasis on fostering an individualistic society. Moreover, intellectual developments were also born out of post-WW2 era and were mainly characterized by the adoption of a post-modern paradigm and globalism. This later morphed into a movement focusing on diversity in all regions of Europe and a sharp focus on the importance of individual rights in a post-modern society.

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